Rev. Piazza recently asked his readers if they might be willing to share an insight or an “ah-ha” as a Liberating Word to give him a bit of a break while he focuses on his husband Bill, but still allow us to share a word of hope every day with hundreds of fellow travelers. Thank you to Chris Harris for today’s entry. Chris is a member of Virginia-Highland Church and a key leader in The River ministry, Virginia-Highland Church’s direct outreach to our friends who live outside.
Last Sunday, Rev. Piazza gave us a beautiful message based on one of the most familiar parables in the New Testament. It is the one that most Christians refer to as “The Good Samaritan.” It is a feel-good message with simple and clear direction for how our Great Teacher wants us to treat each other.
Perhaps I was luckier than some because Sunday evening, at a picnic hosted by The River, I saw that wonderful parable in real life. The River is Virginia-Highland Church’s direct outreach to our friends who live outside, and, because of the generosity of so many of our congregants, we were able to serve nourishing food to our homeless friends. We also had clothes and supplies. As I watched those who accompanied us serve the meal and visit with our friends, I saw something that was, perhaps, more important. There were bright and genuine smiles, warm hugs, and healthy laughter, and beautiful people willing to listen, express concern, or simply hold the hand of a fellow being who may not have experienced much-needed human touch in a while.
In a world where those who seek to lead us show contempt, open discrimination, and a total lack of compassion, it is easy to lose faith. As I watched the wonderful participation on Sunday, however, I felt that, somehow, we will overcome if more and more of us will strive to follow the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Thanks to each of you who chooses to follow that wonderful example, perhaps without ever being aware of it.